Show Rundown

#1133: The Nina Totenburger

Original Air Date: 08.13.2011
Show Open Topic

Tommy's wife, Joanne, offers up a response to a letter she received from a certain clothing shop.

Call 1

Renee (New York, New York)

A question about animals and starters. In warm weather, car occasionally won't start if it's been sitting a while. If she waits a half-hour and tries again, it will start. Last time this happened, she opened the hood and found chicken bones, a bag of Doritos, and other food Related? No, they're not related. Starting problem is the fuel pump relay--common in these cars. Food is likely being left there by rats seeking refuge from Mayor Bloomberg.

Call 2

Benjamin Riley (Olympia, Washington)

A buying question. Ben used to drive a pickup, then switched to the Century. He's newly single, and has realized the Century is a 'Grandma car', not attracting women. What should he buy to replace it? He's big 6' 4', outdoorsy-type. Ray suggests he goes back to a pickup, a Toyota Tundra. Tom suggests a Jeep.

Call 3

Fran Gallo (, Massachusetts)

An oil change question. Fran tends to strip nuts while removing the oil pan to do changes, so he's thinking about draining old oil through the oil filter port, with the engine running. Good idea? No, Tom and Ray it's a horrible idea--he'lll be running engine without oil. Suggest hr buy a new drain and gasket, and go to Sears for the exact socket.

Call 4

Teresa Moran (New York, New York)

A marital question about seat betls. Her husband was taught not to wear seatbelts while driving in town, because it's easier to evade an on-coming side collision, by jumping out of the seat. Is this okay? No, Tom and Ray say it's wacko--you can come up with scenarios not to wear seatbelt, but you're always better off with it.

Call 5

Julian Awad (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania)

A question about selling a car, and the engine. His car has sat for a year, and Julian is trying to sell it. Revs at start, but settles down after it warms up. Prospective buyer had mechanic check it, heard ticking, suggested it may be valve tap. Julian agreed to cover repair cost, but worried it may be more expensive than he thought. Tom and Ray think it may just be sticky lifters, suggest Julian try Rislone, or other oil treatment.

Call 6

Deborah Rodriguez (Haverhill, Massachusetts)

A question about a noise. When she starts the car, she occasionally hear s a loud metallic grinding noise, 'like a marking seal.' Goes away when she releases the key, and only happens occasionally. Tom and Ray think it's chewed up teeth on her starter flywheel. She can ignore the problem for now, but it will likely get worse, and at some point she'll need a new starter.

Call 7

Joan McNiff (Washington, District Of Columbia)

A question about spare parts. Joan is a Foreign Service officer, about to be stationed in Madagascar. Bought a Geo tracker sight-unseen. She knows it runs, but was told to bring spare parts, and she won't be traveling with too much luggage. What should she bring? Tom and Ray suggest she bring very little--since the car is running, maybe just some oil. Set up an account with a mechanic here, and arrange for them to ship aprts over if necessary.

Call 8

Bill Sofield (Knoxville, Tennessee)

A buying question. His car was in an accident, totaled. Has been fixed, and now available with a 'reconstructed title.' Mechanic said there was no frame damage--is this a good idea, and what might be wrong with it? Bill should get it checked by the best body shop in town, then get the alignment checked, and take it to a regular mechanic to get everything else checked. If they sign off, he can go for it.

Call 9

Myrna Bonin (, New Jersey)

A body/tracking device quesetion. She thinks her soon-to-be ex-husband has hidden a GPS device on her car. How to locate it? It should be easy to find, because there aren't many places to hide it--any mechanic should be able to put it on the lift and see it instantly. But, she can mess with him, and drive it around to different 'suspicious' locations, or put it on someone else's vehicle!